University of Oulu

Heibati, B., Jaakkola, M.S., Lajunen, T.K. et al. Occupational exposures and respiratory symptoms and lung function among hairdressers in Iran: a cross-sectional study. Int Arch Occup Environ Health 94, 877–887 (2021).

Occupational exposures and respiratory symptoms and lung function among hairdressers in Iran : a cross-sectional study

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Author: Heibati, Behzad1,2,3; Jaakkola, Maritta S.1,2,3; Lajunen, Taina K.1,2,3;
Organizations: 1Center for Environmental and Respiratory Health Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Aapistie 5B, P.O. Box 5000, 90014, Oulu, Finland
2Faculty of Medicine, Biocenter Oulu, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 5000, 90014, Oulu, Finland
3Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 8000, 90014, Oulu, Finland
4West Virginia University School of Public Health, Morgantown, WV, USA
5Department of Occupational Health, School of Public Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
6Food Safety Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
7Department of Occupational Health, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
8Finnish Meteorological Institute, P.O. Box 503, 00101, Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-03-19


Objective: Exposures at hairdressers’ work have been reported to lead to an increased risk of several health outcomes. The present study aimed to investigate the relations between occupational exposures and respiratory symptoms and lung function among hairdressers in Iran.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study to compare potential respiratory effects among 140 women working as hairdressers to such effects among 140 women working as office workers (administrative personnel). Both groups worked in Shiraz, Iran. Respiratory symptoms were assessed by a standard respiratory questionnaire. The questionnaire also inquired about substances used and workspace conditions, including ventilation type. Lung function levels were measured by spirometry.

Results: Respiratory symptoms, including cough, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness were significantly more frequent in hairdressers compared to the reference group (p < 0.05). After controlling for potential confounders, hairdressers had a prevalence ratio (PR) of 2.18 (95% CI 1.26–3.77) for cough, 9.59 (95% CI 1.004–91.73) for wheezing, 2.06 (95% CI 1.25–3.39) for shortness of breath, and 3.31 (95% CI 1.84–5.97) for chest tightness compared to the reference group. Lung function parameters (including VC, FVC, and FEV1) were significantly reduced in hairdressers (p < 0.001). Absence of air conditioning predicted greater reduction in lung function (p < 0.05) in the exposed. Decrease in FVC with normal FEV1/FVC in the exposed group suggested existence of restrictive lung function.

Conclusions: This study provides evidence of increased prevalence of respiratory symptoms and restrictive lung function impairment among hairdressers in Iran.

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Series: International archives of occupational and environmental health
ISSN: 0340-0131
ISSN-E: 1432-1246
ISSN-L: 0340-0131
Volume: 94
Pages: 877 - 887
DOI: 10.1007/s00420-020-01645-z
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
Funding: Open Access funding provided by University of Oulu including Oulu University Hospital. The authors would like to express their appreciation to the Vice president of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences for the financial support regarding this research project (Grant no. 93–7225). BH was funded by Biocenter Oulu. TL was financially supported by the Ella and Georg Ehrnrooth Foundation, and Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation. JJ was supported by the Academy of Finland (Grant no. 310372). Furthermore, the authors appreciate the review and suggestions by Andrie Panayiotou, Ph.D, and Dinh Bui, Ph.D.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 310372
Detailed Information: 310372 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2021. Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit